But it turns out the real juice for Boston Calling '18 was hidden underneath the big-font bigwigs (Eminem, The Killers, and Jack White, with notables like Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, The National, Khalid and Tyler, The Creator on Line 2). This year's Boston Calling has maybe its strongest undercard ever, meaning a lot of the anticipated highlights will be going down while the sun is still up.
Sure, we can't wait to hear The Killers play songs off Hot Fuss, Eminem's first show in Boston in 13 years should be all sorts of "Fuck Trump" fun, and Jack White is gonna Jack White the shit out of all of us whether we like it or not. But those daytime hours are where the magic truly is, and we've picked 11 bands and artists, out of the overall 45, that we are most excited about on first poster glance. We might come up with another 11 next week.
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Part of the fun in poring over a festival lineup poster is a) trying to predict when a band or artist will perform over the course of a day and b) how that band or artist will sound in that particular context. Memphis’ singer and guitarist Julien Baker is listed in the Boston Calling poster’s sixth line (out of nine), meaning she’ll likely be performing in the afternoon. Hearing Baker’s emotionally dense October LP Turn Out the Lights in broad daylight should be a unique experience, as most of our recorded listens of the album so far have involved a few candles a a whole lot of darkness. If Baker’s able to harness the subtle power of her live show for a television audience, as she did this week, she should have no troubles displaying it outside at the Harvard Athletic Complex.